First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Hand-Washing
Hand-washing is more than just running water over your hands. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of infections. It helps prevent diseases, such as colds, flu, and food poisoning. It's easy, it doesn't cost much, and it works.
Wash your hands:
Wash your hands after you:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following steps for hand-washing:
Scrub the backs of hands, between fingers, palms, and under nails.
If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand wipe that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or isopropanol. Carry one or both with you when you travel, and keep them in your car or purse. These products can help reduce the number of germs on your hands. But they don't get rid of all types of germs.
If you use sanitizer, rub your hands and fingers until they are dry. You don't need to use water. The alcohol quickly kills many types of germs on your hands.
Current as of:
June 18, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: June 18, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
1515 SW Cary Parkway
REX Healthcare of Cary, Suite 200
Cary, NC 27511
37 Pineville Blvd.
Clayton, NC 27527
1059 Beaver Creek Commons Drive
Apex, NC 27502